Mole Rats in Space



Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesPolice in New Delhi, India arrested a man for replacing cash in an ATM with fake 2,000 Rupee notes he got out of a board game that he had purchased for his nephew. The police were alerted by bank customers who were given currency guaranteed by the “Children’s Bank of India”.

Hasbro has applied for a U.S. trademark on the smell of Play-Doh.

Already banned by FIDE for misfeasance at the Bulgarian Chess Federation and improperly diverting money from Chess tournaments, Silvio Danailov and Vladimir Sakotic have allegedly used illegal means to take over the Serbian Chess Federation and have sent threatening and blackmailing emails to the president and board of the European Chess Union.

Teen siblings, Dorsa and Borna Derakhshan, have been banned by Iran Chess Federation from playing in domestic tournaments and representing the country at international events. Dorsa played at the recent Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival without wearing a hijab. Borna played a game against an Israeli.

A 23 year-old mother in Hong Kong was arrested by police for abandoning her baby (only 18 days old) unattended at her mother’s house so she could go play Mahjong. In consideration of the weeks she already spent in police custody and the support of her family, a magistrate sentenced the mother to just 12 months probation.

The Ningdu County Committee of the Communist Party of China has banned local officials from playing Mahjong. The goal of the order is to combat gambling, though it applies to any occasion, on-duty or off.

Between the two separate Mahjong games police raided in Davao City, Philippines, they arrested 11 people and confiscated gambling money totaling 320 Pesos (no more than $6.50).

A Denver-area high school principal was found guilty of 3rd degree assault for kicking his wife between the legs and punching her in the ribs. The incident occurred after he called her a “cheater” during a game of Backgammon. It’s unclear whether by cheating he was referring to the game or their marriage.

A man and woman were captured on video surveillance shoplifting $400 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards from a Walmart in Potsdam, New York. State police eventually caught the pair when they tried to sell the cards.

The makers of Secret Hitler, a Mafia-like game about the rise of fascism, sent a copy of the game to every member of the United States Senate, thinking maybe the education would do them good.

Sophisticated Games, which owns the rights to the original board game version of Ingenious (also known as Einfach Genial), registered a U.S. trademark for “Ingenious” and began demanding that the game’s designer, Reiner Knizia, pay a royalty for using that name on related game designs. Rather than acquiesce, Knizia has come up with a new name for games in that series—at least the ones for which he has the rights. So for example, there’s AXIO Hexagonal and AXIO Octagonal now available to play online. Under license from Sophisticated Games, though, Thames & Kosmos will be publishing the original in board game form as Ingenious later this year.

For the second month in a row, a car crashed in to a game shop. This time, the incident occurred at the Spielbound board game cafe in Omaha.

Portal Games has had its PayPal accounts frozen pending delivery of First Martians. The bulk of funds in those accounts were for preorders of the game. However, Portal assures customers that the move by PayPal will not interfere with delivery.

First in Parliament, then on Facebook, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar criticized the Leader of the Opposition for skipping a session of Parliament to officiate at a dog show in Brussels. Another MP responded by pointing out that a Government Minister had also missed a session to take part in a Backgammon tournament.

The immediate past president of the Northern Region Chess League in Malawi asserts irregularities in the latest election of officers. He claims that the president of the Chess Association of Malawi, who presided over the balloting, refused to let all local Chess players vote (as required by the organization’s constitution) and instead only accepted the votes of players who had participated in the last tournament.

The resignation of the president of the Japan Shogi Association wasn’t enough for members upset that the group’s leadership had banned a prominent player on suspicion of cheating but without evidence. A no-confidence vote has resulted in the ouster of three more board members.

As with Bridge and Chess, supporters are trying to get Sport England to declare Scrabble a sport.

A New York City police officer visiting the Virtual Crime Information Center for some training recognized the man on a wanted poster as a regular at the Chess tables in Washington Square Park. And so police went to the park and arrested him.

Two of four men in an SUV, who robbed and shot up a Dominoes game taking place in the parking lot of a Houston convenience store, were captured by police following a second incident later the same night.

An argument broke out between two people playing Dominoes in Dolores Park, San Francisco. One slashed the other’s arm with a pocket knife and escaped on-foot.

Game Blotter

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesA man was mugged for his board games in Hull, UK. One, possibly two, discerning thugs (then again, I don’t know which games were grabbed) robbed the man of two board games and left him with life-threatening injuries. Said the local constabulary, “This was an isolated incident. Luckily incidents of this kind are rare and we don’t believe there is any threat to the wider public.”

Two men in Maroochydore, Australia, bored with “nothing to do at home”, grabbed an unspecified board game off the shelf of their local Target and walked out the front door with the box shoved down a pants leg. Stealth was not their strong suit, though. Police officers overheard them planning their caper, watched them grab the game, and followed them out the door before making an arrest.

In an incident made for headlines, a Florida woman stabbed her 18 year-old niece in the ear with a screwdriver during a game of Family Feud.

According to the website, eCommerce Bytes, in the Amazon listing for Hasbro’s Pie Face game, someone marked up boxes so the people appeared in blackface. That image isn’t there any more, nor was there any explanation available for how or why that image might have been part of the listing in the first place.

Petersen Entertainment is suing PayPal in Texas court. The game company claims that PayPal has improperly refused to hand over nearly $58,000 raised through Kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars. This despite Petersen providing documentation to PayPal that it has already shipped the product to the customers.

It seems that an apology and voluntary pay-cut wasn’t enough contrition for the president of the Japan Shogi Association after penalizing a player for cheating without evidence. He’s now resigned his position.

The mayor and deputy-mayor of Iizuka, Japan have resigned in the wake of public outcry over their habit of gambling on Mahjong during business hours. Also, the funeral business owned by one of the people with whom they played landed a municipal contract.

Two men in their 60s, one of them the president of the Hop Sing Tong Benevolent Association, were stabbed to death by an intruder while playing Mahjong in the association’s Los Angeles recreation center.

After several months of surveillance, police in Mallorca, Spain raided a location of weekend Mahjong games, where they believe €25,000-35,000 was illegally gambled on weekly basis.

“Most people who played Chess are liars,” said a Muslim televangelist in Turkey. “Playing Chess is worse than gambling and eating pork.” In response, the Turkish Chess Federation is suing.

A man died while fleeing from police who broke up a street dice game of Bầu Cua Cá Cọp in Binh Dinh, Vietnam. The police and coroner say he died from lack of oxygen caused by running. His uncle says the police beat him.

A man who just tried to walk away from a dice game argument in Waco, Texas, was followed out of the apartment by his host and stabbed in the parking lot.

In Cleveland, Ohio, when a man tried to rob a street dice game at gunpoint, one of the players, who had a concealed-carry permit, shot back and killed the robber.

In Ahmedabad, India, a dump-truck driver took to the wrong side of the road, killing a Chess coach riding a scooter on his way to a lesson. The driver’s employer then quickly began a dig on the street, attempting to suggest it was an active work zone.

Someone experiencing a seizure crashed their SUV right through the miniatures section of Deep Comics & Games in Huntsville, Alabama. Though the store was occupied at the time, no patrons or staff were injured.

According to police in Gainesville, Florida, a man grabbed a collection of 1,000 Magic: The Gathering cards from an unlocked car, then tried to sell them at a local game shop. The store manager, though, was a friend of the victim and, recognizing the cards, reported the seller to police.

An 83 year old man was beaten and robbed while walking home from a game of Dominoes in the Bronx.

Also in the Bronx, it was the Dominoes game itself that turned violent. An argument started, shots were fired, a woman was hit in the neck. The reports are unclear, though, whether she was participating in the game or hit by a stray bullet.

A former police officer in Cebu, the Philippines was shot and killed by a masked gunman while playing Mahjong. Authorities think the killing was retaliatory for something connected to the victim’s time in law-enforcement.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesIn the Hunan province of China, a mother allegedly locked her 3 year-old son in a dog cage so she could play Mahjong undisturbed. The woman admits she put her son there because he was being noisy but says she wasn’t playing Mahjong and someone else locked the cage. The person who found the boy said, “I don’t know who his parent is. After I shared the news on social media, I hurried to get someone to open the cage.”

In Hong Kong, a 62 year-old man is under arrest for allegedly stabbing to death the friend with whom he often played Mahjong. Police suspect there was a debt involved.

The Japan Shogi Association, which had previously banned 9th-dan-ranked Hiroyuki Miura for possible cheating (noting that he had left his seat an unusual number of times during a tournament), has now apologized for the action and reinstated the player. A third-party investigation found no evidence of cheating. The association’s three executives also promised to take a 30 percent pay-cut for 3 months.

Someone broke in to All Aboard Games in Kamloops, British Columbia and stole X-Wing Miniatures figures. The getaway was caught on video.

A man who robbed a Mahjong parlor at gunpoint in Zhengjiang, China claims that he intended to get caught. Police traced his getaway vehicle and in his home found the 10,000 yuan he stole, as well as the gun he used, which turned out to be fake. The man then told police that being sent to jail was the only way he could figure to avoid a 300,000 yuan debt to a loan shark. The money he borrowed, by the way, he used to finance his own high-interest loan. It was after his debtor failed to pay up that he concocted this brilliant plan with the fake gun.

The government of Venezuela raided the warehouse of toy distributor Kreisel, confiscated its inventory, and then promised to give the toys away free to the public. As explanation for the action, the government claims that the company was hoarding toys during a period of rapid inflation.

In 2012, professional Poker player Phil Ivey, along with a woman, Cheng Yin Sun, who had learned through many hours of study to spot subtle variations on the backs of certain playing cards, managed to win $9.6 million playing Baccarat at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Relying on the same skill, they later also did well at a London casino. The London casino, though, withheld their winnings and a British judge ruled their actions cheating. After hearing of that case, the Borgata sued to recover its money. Now, a U.S. federal court judge has ruled that what they did in Atlantic City wasn’t fraud because it didn’t break the rules of Baccarat. However, the judge did find them to have violated New Jersey’s Casino Control Act “in complete contravention of the fundamental purpose of legalized gambling” and he’s ordered the pair to return their winnings.

Military police in Phuket, Thailand raided a townhouse that was set up to host illegal gambling on Mahjong. Eleven people were arrested.

After a Lords vs. Commons Chess match several MPs in the U.K. are resurrecting efforts to have Chess recognized as a sport and, therefore, exempt from VAT. Some say they would accept the alternative of defining Chess as a “mindsport”, so that it would not conflict with the Council of Europe’s Sports Charter.

Someone stole the Franklin Mint Civil War Chess set that a woman inherited from her grandfather. It was taken from the trunk of her car as she was preparing to move out of West Jordan, Utah. About a week later, after the theft was reported on local TV news, the set was anonymously turned in to local police.

A 39 year-old man is under arrest in South Carolina for showing up at his girlfriend’s house drunk, throwing her board game to the floor, and flinging the pieces around the room—also for allegedly putting her friend in a hammerlock when she asked him to pick up the mess.

A Bristol, UK jury has cleared a man of sexual assault charges. A woman had claimed that he attacked her during a game of Scrabble.

A group of four was caught in the act of attempting to hack an automatic Mahjong table used for high stakes games at a parlor in Hong Kong. One of the group was a cleaner at the parlor, another a regular customer. The owner was alerted to unusual overnight activity by his security system and called police.

The group was apprehended with a laptop computer, electronic components, tools, a remote control device, and two sets of Mahjong tiles embedded with microchips. Police believe the setup would have allowed the cheaters to control the table’s shuffle of tiles and give their players a significant advantage.

[via HKEJ and South China Morning Post]

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesEarlier in November, the National Rifle Association suggested to its members that they could make board games more interesting by using them for target practice. The organization even posted online a print-and-shoot alternative to Candy Land, “Target Land”. Hasbro complained and the NRA has since removed the article from its website.

The Magic: The Gathering collection of Cassius Marsh, linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, was stolen out of his car. He hasn’t gotten them back yet but Wizards of the Coast did send him some replacements.

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana ordered the Indiana Gaming Commission not to take action against a senior center for handing out prizes such as cookies and toilet paper to the winner of Euchre card games. Though the collection of an entry fee for the games would be considered gambling under Indiana law, the Commission said it never had any intent to do more than inform the senior center of what it was doing wrong.

nra-target-landA police detective in New York City was caught on camera wagering the freedom of his prisoner on a roll of dice. Referring to someone being held in the detective’s car a few feet away, a bystander said, “If you ace out right now, you gotta let him go,” after which the detective blows on the dice and throws them.

Proposed revisions to Poland’s gaming laws would define as gambling any electronic game (or game employing a mechanical device) that involves any amount of luck (even if luck is not the predominant factor) and has any prize (including non-financial awards, such as the right to proceed to the next game). It would seem that caught in this broad definition would be online Chess and MtG tournaments, even those without cash prizes.

A West Yorkshire domestic abuser jailed under new English coercive control laws was said to have, among other things, “intensively instructed” his victim in Chess, even threatening to kill her if she failed to capture a particular piece.

In Arkansas, a brother and sister pair are facing charges for conspiring to have a minor smuggle tobacco and prescription drugs in to a jail hidden in a Chess set.

Someone stole a Chess set brought back from Europe by a late World War II veteran. The man’s son said the Chess set was awarded to him by a German baron. Also taken were two swords that the father collected while stationed in the Pacific theater.

China Labor Watch, says it investigated several factories in China and found poor working conditions and violations of Chinese labor laws. According to the organization, the factories make products for Hasbro, Mattel, and Disney.

The European Court of Justice has found the shape of a Rubik’s Cube not eligible for trademark protection. The court determined that the Cube’s ability to rotate was essential to the protection sought but should instead be the subject of a patent.

Korean mobile game developer iPeoples is suing Korean mobile game developer Netmarble Games for patent infringement and unfair competition, claiming the latter company copied the design concepts of the board game, Blue Marble, for which the former has an exclusive license. The thing is, Blue Marble is just a knock-off of Monopoly.

Leder Games was taking payments for preorders of the reprint of Vast: The Crystal Caverns but PayPal froze their account.

Before the World Chess Championship, the reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen, called on Microsoft Norway to help defend his team from cyber infiltration. Apparently, he was concerned that Russian hackers might attempt to aid his challenger, Sergey Karjakin. Meanwhile someone is squatting on domains incorporating Sergey Karjakin’s name. He plans to sue.

The organization that ran the World Chess Championship in New York, Agon Ltd., was unsuccessful at getting a federal court to stop unlicensed competing websites from broadcasting live moves from the tournament. The websites argued that the information was freely available via social media. A Russian court also rejected a similar effort by Agon to restrict broadcasting of moves from the earlier Candidates Tournament (which determined the challenger for the World Championship). The Russian court ruling, which came after the Candidates Tournament finished, found that the moves were already in the public domain and did not constitute a trade secret.

After one of the games of the World Chess Championship, Magnus Carlsen ditched the required press conference. Based on his contract, that move may cost him 10 percent of his prize money.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Ignatius Leong’s appeal of the World Chess Federation’s finding that he sold his vote in the organization’s presidential election. Not only was the 2 year ban instituted against him by FIDE upheld, he was also ordered to pay 5,000 Swiss francs in arbitration costs.

The National Chess Championship of India was kicked out of its venue, the Lucknow Public School, mid-tournament. Several leading contenders quit in protest.

Twenty year-old Chess Grandmaster Yuri Eliseev died after falling from his 12th floor apartment in Moscow. He was attempting parkour.

According to police, Joseph Hammond of San Antonio wouldn’t stand for his opponent walking away from a Dominoes game. He followed and shot at the man several times.

One person was killed and several others wounded in a drive-by shooting of a Dominoes game in the Bahamas. The alleged perpetrators have been arrested.

A woman playing dice on the street in Chicago was shot in the head but survived. Others weren’t so fortunate. Dice game shootings resulted in fatalities in Birmingham, Detroit, Chicago, and Oakland.

A man who was already on probation was apprehended by police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas smoking marijuana in a stolen car. He claimed to have purchased it an a dice game unaware that it was stolen.

Someone set up a fake Smyths Toys Facebook page, offering a sweepstakes for a $300 gift card and collecting email addresses.

Game Blotter

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesA Michigan man charged in a series of two murders and a kidnapping is reported by police to have been in a Magic: The Gathering tournament next door to where the first victim was working, just before she went missing.

Shogi computer programs are catching up with software for Chess and that means more cheating. The Japan Shogi Association has instituted a ban on bringing smartphones in to tournament venues and will restrict players from leaving the playing hall during matches. The group also banned 9th-dan-ranked Hiroyuki Miura through the end of the year for possible cheating. It was noted that he left his seat an unusual number of times during a recent tournament. He denies, though, the allegation and says he will consult a lawyer.

An insurgent group in eastern India, the KCP (Kangleipak Communist Party), has declared a ban on all forms of dice games and gambling and warned of serious consequences for any violations. The group is concerned that a dice game trend is negatively affecting the reputation of women.

In Ahmedabad, the Indian Poker Association has asked the Gujarat High Court to declare Poker a game of skill and therefore not subject to the state’s gambling restrictions.

The Florida Department of Business Services has ruled designated player card games (where someone sits at the table to represent the bank) illegal in the state. This is likely to complicate the ongoing case between Seminole tribes and the state over similar issues.

Recently declassified documents reveal that a Kurdish man killed while playing Backgammon in London back in 1994 was the victim of a plot orchestrated by the spy agency of Turkey.

Someone broke in over night to The Comic Hunter in Moncton, New Brunswick and stole Magic: The Gathering cards, including a Black Lotus and other rare Unlimited and Alpha cards.

The cash boxes of R&R Games and Ludi Creations were stolen from the exhibit hall during Spiel Essen.

Dan Yarrington filed a response to Zev Shlasinger and Paul Gerardi’s lawsuit over their failed Staten Island game store. Yarrington asserts [PDF] that Zap’d Games was only an investment vehicle with no role in management of the store, that the store’s lease was approved by Shlasinger, and that the store failed from the combined effects of hurricane Sandy and Gerardi’s failure to build shelves in time for the store’s planned opening. Pretrial conferences in the case are scheduled for later this month.

An assistant manager of a Hong Kong Mahjong parlor is facing criminal bribery charges for taking payments from his boss to help people cheat at games. He allegedly received HK$75,000 over a period of 4 months to mark tiles with fluorescent ink that’s only visible with special lenses.

The people who were told that their card game rules weren’t patentable (because they used a standard deck of cards) are appealing to the Supreme Court.

Upper Deck has applied to trademark the word “LOOT” with regard to trading cards, card games, and playing cards.

Hasbro was named the 2016 “Most Responsible Company in the Consumer Items Industry Sector” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.

A man was stabbed during an argument over a game of Dominoes at a park in East Chicago, Indiana.

Dice game shootings in Birmingham, Alabama; Springfield, Illinois; Pontiac, Michigan; and Capitol Heights, Maryland.

At the recent DEFCON hackers conference, members of Google’s anti-fraud and abuse team presented the results of an investigation in to a smartphone-like device for cheating at card games such as Poker. The instrument, which they purchased from a Chinese seller for $1,300, can read through an entire deck of shuffled and stacked cards, telling its user exactly which suit and number will be drawn next. If the user selects options for the number of players and the game being played, the device will even accurately predict who has the winning hand.

The feat is accomplished with a marked deck of cards, infrared LEDs, and a black-and-white camera. The whole process is quite discreet. The cards are marked along the edges with IR ink invisible to the naked eye. The LEDs work through the device’s outer casing, such that their lights are hardly noticeable. And the camera is placed in order to read the card deck from a position laying down across the table.

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In fact, a sealed-in-shrink-wrap deck of cards of the purchaser’s choice of brands is included in the package.

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The device too is well disguised. It not only looks very much like a Samsung smartphone, it’s built on the Android operating system and will make calls and run standard apps.

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In terms of getting the scan results, users have the option to receive audio signals via miniature earpiece (included), coded signals via a vibrating receiver that can be strapped to an arm or leg (also included), or the device can make subtle changes to the time it displays on-screen.

And just in case a smartphone on the table might arouse suspicion, the package also comes with an alternate Bluetooth-connected camera hidden in a car key fob (customizable with different car maker logos).

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesBackgammon has become the latest battleground for Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The Cyprus Sports Organization is rushing to form a Backgammon federation, none too happy that a Turkish Cypriot Backgammon Association already filed with the European Backgammon Federation and could end up representing the island in a major tournament coming up in October in Denmark.

The next Women’s World Chess Championship is set to take place in Iran, where women are required by law to wear a hijab. This has many people upset. General media are certainly covering it as if many are upset. But how many of the contestants are bothered by the restriction is unclear. That is, other than the U.S. Women’s Champion, Nazi Paikidze, who’s threatening a boycott. No national Chess federations, though, have formally complained about the selection of venue, though individual officials from the U.K. and Denmark have voiced their personal disagreement.

Zev Shlasinger (founder of Z-Man Games, now with WizKids) and Paul Gerardi (also formerly of Z-Man Games) are suing Dan Yarrington (Myriad Games and Game Salute) in relationship to a game store that the trio set up in Staten Island, New York. According to the complaint [PDF], filed in federal court in New Hampshire, the three formed Zap’d Games to own the store and then contracted with Yarrington’s Myriad Games to operate it, with Gerardi as the manager. The complaint alleges deception and misdeeds by Yarrington, pretty much from the beginning. The filing claims that Yarrington mishandled Shalsinger’s $100,000 investment, failed to make his own promised investment, commingled Zap’d’s funds with those of other businesses, failed to provide appropriate inventory, and eventually, without authority, closed the store, took possession of all stock, and fired Gerardi. For his part, Yarrington denies the allegations.

Game designer Bruno Faidutti is under fire for misrepresenting native American cultures in his upcoming game, Waka Tanka. In his defense, Faidutti claims that the game represents a fantasy culture, not a real one. Except that it’s pretty obvious who it’s based on.

A Justice Department report found that Baltimore police disproportionately enforce anti-gambling laws against minorities. From 2010 to 2015, 99 percent of those charged with gaming or playing dice or cards were black.

The Malta Gaming Authority has decided that daily fantasy sports leagues are primarily games of skill and therefore should be regulated with a lighter hand than gambling. Coming to that decision, though, the MGA has also concluded that some games, such as certain card and board games, involve enough luck that the regulation of tournaments shouldn’t be entirely hands-off.

Nine people were arrested while playing Mahjong in Davao City, Philippines after someone texted police about possible gambling.

Students at Chinese University of Hong Kong were challenged by campus security guards for playing Mahjong on a public plaza after midnight. According to a student publication, no gambling was involved. The university’s vice-chancellor, however, responded, “If students play mahjong, write graffiti on buildings or have hotpot meals anywhere and at any time, they might one day even carry out disreputable acts.”

The government of Hong Kong is conducting raids on Mahjong parlors to put pressure on gangs after threats made to the life of the territory’s Chief Executive. The source of the increased conflict is a planned government housing development on real-estate controlled by the triads.

In Daping Village, China a 2 year-old boy drowned in a ditch just in front of his home. He was left on his own by his mother and grandmother, who were busy playing Mahjong.

Following a 2 year investigation, four companies, Viacom, JumpStart, Mattel, and Hasbro, have settled with the New York Attorney General’s office on charges that they illegally tracked the web browsing habits of children under the age of 13. The companies will pay a combined $835,000 in fines and have agreed to require compliance from their advertising vendors.

Former Hasbro CEO Alan Hassenfeld has been testifying at the trial of Daniel Doyle, accused of embezzling money from the Institute for International Sports, a youth service organization. Hassenfeld was a major supporter of the organization and ended up having to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans that he had cosigned for the institute. Among the incidents to which Hassenfeld has testified was a forged appeal for donations on unauthorized Hasbro letterhead.

Hasbro has joined the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, a group dedicated to improving “efficiency and social, ethical and environmental sustainability in the global supply chain.” As a member, Hasbro commits to auditing 25 percent of its high-risk facilities for human rights, conflict minerals, environmental sustainability, and other issues.

In Harlem, a woman was killed while playing Dominoes, shot in the head by a stray bullet. A teenager was killed and four men injured, the victims of a drive-by shooting while playing Dominoes in the Bahamas. A Mississippi man drove himself to the hospital after having been hit in the head with an ax handle during a fight over a game of Dominoes.

Dice game arguments led to shootings in Opelousas and Bridge City, Louisiana; Charleston, South Carolina; and Detroit. Police responding to another dice game incident in Detroit were fired upon by a man with an AK-47. A man in Little Rock, Arkansas was robbed at gunpoint while playing dice. Police in Buffalo raided a backyard dice game, arresting 12 people and charging them with promoting gambling and trespassing. While a dice game in Austin was being robbed by outsiders, one of the players shot and killed another of the players. Police did not say whether he was connected to the robbers but have arrested him on murder charges.

Murder charges have been filed in the case of a 2007 Manhattan dice game shooting involving gang members from the Crips and the Bloods.

In 1985, a Sarasota, Florida woman and her boyfriend were arguing over a game of Backgammon when the man stepped on her neck, leaving her paraplegic. Police were unable to apprehend him at the time, nor were state or federal law enforcement able to find the man for the next 30 years. Now, though, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has finally been able to close the case. After publicizing an age-progression image, they were led to records that positively identified him as having lived under a different name and deceased in 2003.

Remember Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of FIDE (World Chess Federation), who was the subject of sanctions by the U.S. government for alleged dealings with Syria, and had threatened to sue the United States for $50 billion in “moral and financial damages” resulting from the sanctions? Well, now Mr. Ilyumzhinov says that he has sent a letter to President Obama requesting U.S. Citizenship so that he might defend himself in a U.S. court. He also attempted to fly to New York to defend himself in person but was not allowed to board the plane.

At the Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, players were required to ask permission to visit the toilet, while a team of special anti-cheating arbiters recorded the number of visits. Nigel Short of the U.K. team refused an electronic search by an arbiter. He was returning from visiting the bathroom during the middle of a game when Jamie Kenmure of Australia approached him with a scanner. According to his own description, Short just pushed past him and continued on to the game, risking a forfeit penalty. In the end, Short was just given a detailed scan after the game but the conflict didn’t end there. Short took great offense at being interrupted in the middle of a game, particularly since he was facing time pressure. In an interview he said that Kenmure “isn’t fit to clean my boots” and suggested that the arbiter might have picked him out in retaliation for disparaging statements he had made earlier about the man.

Peter Long reports in The Malay Mail that the Malaysian Chess Federation collected fees and lodging expenses from its members in advance of the Commonwealth Chess Championship (held in Sri Lanka) but then never paid out to the tournament organizers. The Malaysian players were therefore forced to pay up again directly before they were allowed to leave the country.

With the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreeing that FIDE has jurisdiction in deciding a complaint by the European Chess Union against Silvio Danailov, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation (BCF), FIDE’s Ethics Commission found Mr. Danailov “guilty of violating clause 2.2.3 of the Code of Ethics in a serious degree—Officials who fail to perform their functions in an impartial and responsible manner.” Though it acknowledged that it could not remove Mr. Danailov from his position as BCF president, FIDE nevertheless has banned him from representing the national federation [PDF] in any FIDE functions or with any other federations or regional unions for 18 months. Two others in the case were banned for 6 months and 3 years.

In another case involving the Bulgarian Chess Federation, FIDE’s Ethics Commission overturned 3+ year bans [PDF] that the former group had set against three players for publicly calling out corruption in the national federation. The FIDE commission determined that the Bulgarian Chess Federation “failed to prosecute the alleged violations in compliance with fundamental principles of law.”

And one more… The European Chess Union (ECU) has decided (with FIDE endorsement) to expel the Bulgarian Chess Federation (BCF) for refusing to cooperate with an investigation in to two tournaments that the BCF had falsely claimed were sanctioned by the ECU. Money from those tournaments that was supposedly paid to the ECU was actually paid to an impostor organization, the “European Chess Union LLC” registered by unknown persons in Delaware, USA.

FIDE overspent its 2015 legal budget by six times, largely because of cases involving Silvio Danailov and the Bulgarian Chess Federation.

The Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge, in which tens-of-thousands of students participate, may have to shut down after being handed a tax bill for £300,000. The government says that the tournament should have been collecting VAT on entry fees.

A Chess teacher in Toronto faces charges for alleged sexual assault of a 10 year old girl. The incident is reported to have happened during an instructional session.

When police arrested a man protesting the construction of an oil pipeline in Iowa, the man produced a Monopoly Get Out of Jail Free card. Still the police wouldn’t let him go.

A collector of error baseball cards (who is also a correspondent covering the law of trading cards for The Cardboard Connection) is suing Topps because, he claims, the company failed to deliver the individual card he ordered from its website. Instead, the company substituted an error-free card, despite the point of its online service being to sell specific cards.

During the night, someone kicked in the door of Multiverse Comics and Games in Grinnell, Iowa and grabbed $300 in cash and $1,300 of Magic: The Gathering Cards.

Police in Pleasanton, California have made a collectible card game as a way to reach out to community youth.

A Georgia schoolteacher is facing disciplinary action for using a dice game to teach 5th grade students about slavery. The game had the student taking on the role of slaves in the 19th century American South and rolling dice to determine whether they were able to escape or were forced back to the plantation.

Andre Diamant, a Chess grandmaster and former member of the Webster University Chess team, pleaded guilty to third-degree misdemeanor assault and was fined $300 for paying his 6 year-old son to drink sake with him in celebration of a tournament victory.

According to the mother of a 4 year old boy with Down Syndrome, her son was refused entry to the Mattel Play! entertainment center in Liverpool because staff considered it “unsuitable for children like him”. Responding to her negative review on Facebook, facility management claimed that the staff mistakenly thought the boy was a baby in a stroller and when they realized their mistake, offered the mother a tour of the facility.

Someone tried to scam Brainstorm Toys out of product by impersonating another business and requesting delivery of goods on credit.

Cards Against Humanity is suing an internet retailer, Skkye Enterprises, for allegedly selling counterfeits games.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesAfter a 51 year-old Welshpool, U.K. man was accused by his sister of stealing pieces from her Frustration board game, he followed her back to her home and pushed her against the wall. Then when confronted about the incident by his nephew, he punched him in the face. A local magistrate fined the man £635 and issued a restraining order.

Two people were arrested on drug smuggling charges in Northern Ireland after trying to pick up a children’s board game shipped via UPS from Canada that was stuffed with marijuana. Police say evidence leads them to suspect there were other such packages. They did not, however, name the game.

A group of four was photographed playing Mahjong around a table they set up in an MTR train in Hong Kong. However, by the time staff went to investigate, the game was gone.

Swiss Chess player, Yannick Pelletier, was initially refused a visa to attend the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan because of earlier travel to Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenia. After signing a letter stating that the visit was a mistake and promising not to go back, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs relented and granted him that visa.

House-banked gambling on card games is illegal in California, except at tribal casinos. More than 70 non-tribal card rooms continue in business, though, operating under a 2007 letter from the former chief of the Bureau of Gambling Control, Robert Lytle, which declared that as long as the role of dealer was offered to to the whole table every second hand, the game would not be considered illegal even if all the players declined. (When everyone declines, as they usually do, the role of bank is given to a licensed and contracted dealer-of-last-resort. And in any case, the host card room makes money by charging a fee for each hand played.) Lytle left the Bureau, however, shortly after issuing that letter and went to work as a card room consultant. And just recently he settled a complaint that he illegally received information from inside the Bureau on an investigation involving one of his clients. So now, nearly 10 years later, the Bureau is rescinding his letter but has determined that it is OK for the card rooms to reopen the bank position only every 60 minutes, under the condition that if someone new doesn’t assume the role of dealer, the game takes a break for 2 minutes. Card room operators are concerned about what this break will do to their profitability. Tribal casino operators claim that one person acting as dealer for 60 minutes does not meet the statutory requirement that the position be “continuously and systematically rotated amongst each of the participants during the play of the game.”

Similar issues continue to be debated in Florida, where an administrative law judge found that a Jacksonville poker room’s contract with a specific player to act as bank effectively results in a house-banked game.

The former chairman of the Irish Chess Union (ICU) is suing the organization for defamation. At issue is an ICU blog post commenting on his job as an arbiter at a Chess tournament.

An Information Technology Agreement negotiated by members of the World Trade Organization eliminates tariffs on electronic products, including video games and games “operated by coins, banknotes, bank cards, token, or by any other means of payment.”

Steven Russell, CEO of Rite Publishing, was killed in an automobile accident.

In a concurrence on a case involving the regulation of mobile billboards, federal circuit court judge John Owens explained his problem with the controlling Supreme Court precedent by referencing a Monopoly board. He took issue with the fact that while a Los Angeles city ordinance prohibits mobile billboards, cars with equally ugly decals would not “go to jail” but would rather “treat my curb like the upper left corner of a Monopoly board” (a reference, I believe, to the Free Parking space).

New Jersey state Assemblyman Jack M. Ciattarelli introduced legislation that would require school districts to offer varsity letters for all competitive extracurricular activities, such as participating on Chess teams, not just for sports.

Seven people were arrested on gun and drug charges after neighbors complained about a street dice game in Flint, Michigan. Patrolling detectives found “validated gang members” playing a street dice game in Richmond, California. They stopped, broke up the game, and ended up arresting one on gun, drug, and probation violation charges. Police arrested three for illegal gambling after breaking up a dice game in Monroe, Ohio.

Shooting broke out at a dice game in Dallas. Two people were wounded. Both are expected to recover. No arrests were made.

Two men in Washington, D.C. were shot (one of them died) when another two attempted to rob the formers’ street dice game at gunpoint. The assailants have both been arrested and are being charged with first-degree felony murder.

A former Director of Transportation for Toys “R” Us has pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.9 million from the company.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesProfessional Magic player Fabrizio Anteri was suspended for 18 months for failing to properly shuffle his cards. In his defense, Anteri says he simply forgot.

The corner jail space of a Monopoly board recently painted on a Jersey City, New Jersey street was covered over with solid orange after complaints that the image promoted racial stereotypes. Expressing his disappointment to a local newspaper, the artist said that critics were projecting their own racial biases. The image, in fact, was a self-portrait (he is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent).

A visitor from mainland China was attacked and beaten by Hong Kong villagers who accused him of cheating at Mahjong games played in a local grocery store. Allegedly, the Mahjong tiles were marked with invisible ink, which the visiting player could see with special contact lenses. Police called to the scene found marked tiles but were unable to find any special glasses or lenses.

Neelash Saha, who won the National Chess Championship of India by half a point, has been banned by the All Indian Chess Federation (AICF) after one of his opponents in the tournament admitted to feigning illness to withdraw from a match and give Saha a full point for a win. The ban, though, has been stayed by a Madras High Court judge pending a further hearing.

One of the trains involved in a head-on collision in Texas was carrying product for WizKids. As a result, the company has had to cancel all pre-release events for Marvel HeroClix: The Superior Foes of Spider-Man.

A group of Cambodian husbands, angry that their wives were playing dice instead of doing housework, snitched on them to local police. When officers attempted to raid the game, however, the players were able to escape with their money, perhaps because one of those playing with them was the wife of a police chief.

The Chess courtyard of Woodruff Park in Atlanta was closed indefinitely after gangs moved in and started taking over the Chess games.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service rejected the $5.2 million refund request of Irish businessman John P. McManus. The money was withheld by his opponent from $17.4 million won in a Backgammon game. The IRS says McManus doesn’t qualify for a refund under a treaty with Ireland because he’s actually a resident of Switzerland.

Professional Poker player and osteopathic doctor, Jaclynn Moskow, has begun speaking out against sexist and anti-Semitic attitudes, as well as actual sexual harassment, in tournament Poker circles. She claims a prominent commentator thrust his face, without consent, in to her chest at an event connected with the recording of a Poker television show. She provided the NY Daily News with a recording of another commentator saying, “The thing about ‘Poker Night’ that makes it so great is that there are no Jews. Every other show on TV has Jews.”

Cyber Bunny was dropped from the new version of King of Tokyo because of “legal technicalities.”

Hasbro won Best Legal Department in the Consumer Goods & Retail category of the 2016 International General Counsel Awards.

Game of Life trademark pendingA Mr. Jonathan Scott applied to register a trademark for “Game of Life” apparel. I gather the logo is supposed to look something like a baseball diamond. Hasbro, though, thinks it’ll be confused with The Game of Life board game and has filed an opposition.

Hasbro filed its own trademark applications for “Hascon” and “Hasbrocon“, for the purpose of “organizing and conducting conventions, exhibitions, fan clubs and gatherings for entertainment purposes and in the fields of toys, animation, comic books, fantasy, gaming, popular culture, science fiction, television and film.”

Hasbro continues to hold the upper hand defending against a claim that it misappropriated the idea for My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop toys filled with glittery liquid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the company had developed the same idea independently and that the trade secrets claimed by Elinor Shapiro were in fact in the public domain.

Primary election results in Oregon were decided by the roll of dice. Both Republican Dan Mason and Democrat Janeen Sollman each received 41 votes in the Independent Party primary for State Representative in District 30. State law requires that ties be decided by a game of chance. Mason’s roll of six beat Sollman’s three.

Four individuals were shot while playing street dice games in Brooklyn, Clairton (Pennsylvania), Baltimore, and Natchez (Mississippi). Two of four died from their wounds.

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